How to Choose a Neighborhood for Your Home Search

Narrow your home search by identifying neighborhoods that are right
for you. This helps keep your search focused and efficient. Your local
REALTOR® can offer neighborhood information to guide you in your search.

When evaluating a neighborhood you should investigate local
conditions. Depending on your own particular needs and tastes, some of
the following factors may be more important considerations than others:

  • quality of schools

  • property values

  • traffic

  • crime rate

  • future construction

  • proximity to schools, employment, hospitals, shops, public
    transportation, prisons, freeways, airports, beaches, parks, stadiums
    and cultural centers such as museums and theaters

Neighborhood Search Strategies for Limited Budgets

If you’re a first time-buyer with limited financial resources, it's
wise to buy a home that meets your primary needs in the best
neighborhood that fits within your price range. You can maximize your
home purchase location by incorporating some of the following strategies
into your neighborhood search:

  • Upcoming neighborhoods: Look for communities that
    are likely to become "hot neighborhoods" in the coming years. They can
    often be discovered on the periphery of the most continuously desirable

    Check for planned future development such as additional transit; new
    community services such as pools and theatres; and chain stores planning
    to move in.

    Look for a home in a good neighborhood that is a bit farther out of the
    city. If commuting is a concern, purchase a home that is close to public

  • Neighborhood demand: Look at the neighborhood
    demand by asking your real estate agent whether multiple offers are
    being made, whether the gap between the list price and sale price is
    decreasing and whether there is active community involvement. You can
    also drive around neighborhoods and see how many "sale pending" and
    "sold" signs there are in a particular area.

  • Co-ownership: Look into purchasing a condominium or
    co-op, rather than a house, in a desirable neighborhood. This way you
    still may be able to purchase in a prime area that you otherwise could
    not afford.